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Options considered after low school enrolment

Registration for children due to start preschool and Primary 1 for the next school year has been delayed because of low student enrolment.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education said: “This delay comes as a result of the need for the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education to look at further options due to low student enrolment.”

However, the spokeswoman did not outline what options were being considered or reveal how many students had applied for enrolment.

She added: “Enrolment letters for parents of incoming P1 students will be mailed on March 28 and March 29. Parents are required to accept or decline offers of enrolment by April 12.

“Enrolment letters for parents of preschool students will be mailed on April 12. Parents are required to accept or decline offers of enrolment by April 25.

“Parents of students entering middle and senior school will receive offers of enrolment following the Cambridge Checkpoint Examinations that take place from April 18 to April 20.”

The spokeswoman said: “The Department of Education extends a warm welcome to new families supporting the Bermuda public school system, and encouragement to families who will be making the transition to middle and senior school.”

Parents with questions about enrolment can contact the attendance and registration co-ordinator at 278-3300.

Several of the island's preschools and primary schools reported low enrolment in 2015, which lead to speculation about their future.

The School Reorganisation Advisory Committee report the next year examined possible reorganisation of the island's schools.

The report identified the Gilbert Institute, Heron Bay Primary School, Prospect Primary School and St David's Primary School as potential candidates for closure.

The Gilbert Institute had the strongest enrolment in 2015 of the four with 32 applications.

East End Primary received only four applications for enrolment, Prospect Primary received seven and Heron Bay Primary received eight.

St David's Preschool had the lowest enrolment of the island's preschools in 2015, with ten applications.

But there was a public outcry against any school closures in the wake of the report and the under-threat schools were kept open.

Mike Charles, secretary-general of the Bermuda Union of Teachers, said early last year that the union was prepared to discuss the possibility of school closures because of the poor condition of some buildings.

He said: “We need to improve our buildings but we have to make a decision on buildings, in particular whether we are going to keep what we have or whether we are going to make changes.

“The restoration of some buildings would be too costly.”

(Stock photograph)

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Published March 27, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated March 27, 2019 at 9:25 am)

Options considered after low school enrolment

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